Archived Story

Resident wants to see more involvement

Published 7:47pm Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dear Editor,
I do this to myself every time I attend a meeting concerning local city or county government. I spend that night trying to understand why people in Alexander City don’t care.
For those of you who didn’t know or care, the city council held a meeting last night to address concerns over the proposed one-cent increase in sales tax.
About 20 people attended– 20 people out of a population of 15,000.
The most amazing thing was the lack of retailers – who will be most affected – that were not present. Half of the people who attended have no stake in the game.
The statement was made that the city roads are in a critical situation and that every available option to cut spending, short of cutting essential services had been examined.
Personally, I don’t think the Alex City Golf Course, which has operated in a negative budget over the last several years, is essential. The golf course serves a very small percentage of the total population of the city.
The golf course piece of the budget plus the net loss every year plus things like the replacement of the sewer system and the golf carts add up to a sizeable chunk of the $2.3 million proposed capital increase in the one cent sales tax increase.
And that doesn’t include the potential net gain of either the sale or lease of the golf course to a private entity.
There was, what I feel, a positive outcome to last night’s meeting. There seemed to be a positive consensus among the council members, at the request of citizens to establish an entertainment district downtown and to allow Sunday sales of alcohol that would bring an increase in tax revenue.
Council President Jim Spann stated, “We (Alex City) have to move into the 21st century or be left behind.” I agree completely.
The only way our city will survive is if Alex City is technically proficient in today’s applications. Aug. 5 is the day the council will vote on the sales tax increase.
I would like to see the council meeting room filled with concerned citizens. Thank you for your time.

Woody Baird
Alexander City
De Oppresso Liber